Etymology
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abbess (n.)

c. 1300, abbese, "female superior of a convent of nuns," from Old French abbesse (12c.), from Late Latin abbatissa (6c.), fem. of abbas (see abbot). Replaced earlier abbotess, from Old English abbodesse.

updated on September 26, 2016

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Definitions of abbess from WordNet

abbess (n.)
the superior of a group of nuns;
Synonyms: mother superior / prioress
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.